Category Archives: Project Update

Leaving Roebourne

This time last week was my first day on the road.

About an hour past Karratha I realized had left Roebourne.

The community I’d worked with for the past two years and maybe only just started to feel a part of. I’d just driven outta there with a 1966 Viscount Ambassador in tow. On the way out I bumped into Allery and Marlene at the BP, who suggested that we call the van ‘Jinna buunu,’ which means ‘walkaround too much’ in Yindjibarndi. Is over 5,000 ks in 3 weeks too much?

About 100 ks down the road I realized that this is my life for the next three weeks. Driving from one chapter of my life to the next.

View from Mt Welcome, Roebourne/Ieramugadu, WA

View from Mt Welcome, Roebourne/Ieramugadu, WA

The night before leaving we had our first short film screening at Harding River Caravan Park on the banks of the Ngurin. The sun was low. I smashed a fire hydrant. It dinted the van and made a big noise. Everyone came out to have a gander, a jest and to offer help.  I’ve since learnt that you can’t even badly reverse park a van in a caravan park without everyone knowing about it, let alone completely removing a fire hydrant. In these little nomadic villages, everything is a public event to be watched and probably discussed again later.

A family with teenage daughters, some miners and a few kids came down to watch films projected onto the side of the van. Images of Roebourne kids dance across the van – dressed in teeth costumes riding quad bikes, or teaching Photoshop to Koreans or emerging from the Ngurin River: 

All week I’d been packing and ticking things off lists of things to do now, later or never. I didn’t run one last dance workshop or take a car full of kids to the beach, telling myself I’d go to the disco on Friday night and see all the kids at once. They’d all be there. We could dance. Maybe play musical bobs or make a circle dance or do the bloody heel n toe for the billionth time.

I packed up the screening stuff into the van and rocked up to the 50c Hall around 8pm. The fluro lights were on. My heart sank. The kids were gone. I knew where they’d be. I didn’t want to see them now. Not disparate on the streets at night where the mood changes within seconds and the anticipation and tension is thick.

I cried all the way home.




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On Tour – Cairns to Townsville

On Wednesday 25th September we awoke in Cairns Holiday Park ready to set off on the first day of the tour down to Canberra. The morning was fresh and the caravan park was drenched with dew, the sky was an exquisite shade of blue. The perfect morning to begin the epic journey along the East Coast of Australia with such passionate van/travel enthusiasts and like-minded folk. The drive to the next destination although only a short journey was filled rich with beautiful scenery, scorched red fields, abandoned houses, the roads lined with banana trees and sugar cane.


Allen & Irene leaving CairnsIMG_0879IMG_0861


The first stop was Kurrimine Beach, a quiet and unspoilt tropical destination with the Great Barrier Reef curving it’s bay. Kurrimine is the epitome of an old North Queensland town with friendly spirit and warm hospitality. The Caravan Park was right on the beach filled with characters eager to hear the stories about the convoy. Some of the local stories were fascinating too, with the office of one caravan park made from an old school bus damaged in Cyclone Yasi. The evening was spent  in a charming old Hotel eating fresh seafood, discussing caravans and travel. The weather in the morning was perfect, with some of the other campers taking the opportunity to shimmy up palm trees and collect coconuts. Everyone has different ways spending their leisure time, but away from the hustle and bustle of cities with the warm tropical breeze and waves gently lapping the shore, it’s easy to see why caravan and camp culture is so prominent in the Australian lifestyle.


The next day was the drive through to Townsville. Many stops were made on the way: the usually rainy Tully, the short beachside stretch that is Cardwell and Ingham with it’s legendary deli. In each town the convoy stopped and people of all different backgrounds flocked to admire the beauty of the vintage caravans and cars, always commenting on how meticulous the renovations are. The convoy made it to Townsville last night and is spending tonight in Ayr.

– Update by Jess Hay and Aaron Ashley (photographers local to Townsville)



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Filming in Roebourne

Greetings from the Pilbara!

Over here where the desert meets the sea we’ve been busy covering the walls of our caravan with beautiful portraits and collecting stories on film. Our yet-to-be-named caravan sets off Saturday on an epic journey of over 5,000 kilometres, screening films and sharing stories in caravan parks along the way!

We’ll be at the Harding River Caravan Park this Friday at 6pm, then at Bayview Coral Bay Caravan Park on Sunday 29th.

Before we head off, here’s some photos of what we’ve been doing so far:

We pulled up on the main street in Roebourne, between the shop and the Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi Foundation…


… and invited people like Gary from Ngarda Radio to come and share their holiday stories. That’s Tyson from Weerianna Street Media filming and Cav on sound poking his head through.


Tracy told us about NEARLY catching a goanna while on a road trip


Then we went decided to have a long weekend on a Wednesday, and went out bush for a cook up with Allery and her family.


Alec arrived at dusk to share stories and Johnny Cakes.


Aileen showed me and Maxie how to chop the roots for good firewood out at East Harding River.


The Roebourne caravan is a collaboration between Weerianna Street Media and the Yijala Yala Project. For more photos and videos check out and

Photography by Martina Lang. Words by Elspeth.

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Hey there! Just to introduce myself – my name is Beth Sometimes and recently i’ve come onboard MUSEUM OF THE LONG WEEKEND as a kind of ‘overseeing curator’ of the activities that will be putting together the more intimate and creative aspects of the ‘museum’. I’ve been chatting with artists who are going to be collaborating on this also and I can’t WAIT to to tell you more about them when it’s all confirmed. Some of them are Big hART artists from other projects and events, and there’s a couple of people new to the company too!

You might notice something dramatically different around here? I’ve been trying to streamline the information and simplify things for readability on this here website. I’ve located all the blog + comments bit in this bit – called BLOG so feel free to add anything here or ask questions, though we welcome direct e-mail contact if you’d like to become involved, as detailed in the CONTACT tab.

Cool, so watch this space, as the project starts cooking there’ll be things bubbling fairly regularly in this space!

More soon! Beth